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Judge orders Target to stop illegal dumping

September 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Target Corporation was ordered Friday to stop routinely and systematically dumping hazardous wastes at more than 240 Target stores in the state of California.A civil enforcement lawsuit was filed by Riverside County and 19 other district attorneys in California, the state attorney general and the city attorneys in San Diego and Los Angeles.

The lawsuit claimed Target stores handled and disposed of hazardous waste and materials improperly over a five-year period.

The materials included pesticides, paint, aerosols, oven cleaners, pool chemicals, drain openers and other flammable, toxic and corrosive materials.

On Friday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven Brick issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Target Corporation and its employees from illegally dumping hazardous waste, using unregistered haulers to transport hazardous waste, transporting hazardous waste without the required manifests and illegally managing and disposing of waste such as batteries and other electronic equipment.

Prosecutors said Target routinely ignored California law, which requires companies to properly store, handle and dispose of hazardous waste.

Prosecutors said tons of hazardous wastes and contaminated material were crushed along with discarded merchandise and garbage in Target's compactors and sent to area landfills. They also said Target routinely ignored state laws to cut costs.

The preliminary injunction allows prosecutors to seek sanctions against Target for any violations of the court order. The complaint filed in 2009 also requests Target Corporation to forfeit profits generated by cutting corners and pay mandate civil penalties for violations.

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